Monday 25th July 2016

West Midlands

"The Young Person’s Unit in Birmingham is a daydream of a ward, if such a case exists. Approaching that awkward territory between paediatric and adult, the ward is full of colour and life, but in a way that isn’t patronising or forced. The atmosphere is relaxed and comfortable, something that makes cancer treatment so much easier. On my first night of my second round of chemo, the nurses pushed a bed against my own so my boyfriend could stay with me.

I’m still overwhelmed at how brilliant it all is.

The 2 Teenage Cancer Trust nurses on my ward are testaments not only to the ward, but to the charity and the NHS. Frequent smiley visits from them both and their ability to do their job but strike up conversations that take your mind off everything means so much. I owe so much to Teenage Cancer Trust, to my Young Person's Unit, to my nurses. They are making this infinitely easier. 

"It’s their positivity and support that gives you a sense of purpose and belonging. The ward ensures you’re not branded and restricted into just being another cancer patient, but a person.

When I lost the colour in my skin, my hair, my weight, I stopped recognising myself. It’s tough. Every member of staff on the unit piece you back together, both emotionally and medically and make you realise that, just because you’re down for a bit, it doesn’t mean you’re out.

Dean spoke to Buzzfeed about the challenges he's faced with fertility treatment as a result of being in a same-sex relationship.

"My situation isn’t ideal, but one of which means I’m lucky enough to witness how incredible Teenage Cancer Trust are. I hope I can give back one day.

"Thank you guys so much for everything you’re doing for me. I owe so much to Teenage Cancer Trust!"

Read Dean's blog on Hiskind, where he's Co-founding Editor, about his treatment.